About Sixth Form

Find out more about the sixth form curriculum at Malvern College, including our IB and A level academic pathways.

Our focus on academic excellence alongside personal development is key to a Malvern education.

Our academic programme is broad and rightly challenging; we have offered pupils a choice between the International Baccalaureate and A levels for over thirty years and run a respected and well-established programme.
Our pupil-led super-curriculum programme supports the core Sixth Form academic programme, enabling pupils to further support their learning and exploration of topics they are curious about.

What is the difference between IB and A levels?

Both courses are academically rigorous and we provide a great deal of guidance in helping pupils to choose which course is best for them. We were one of the first schools in the UK to offer both courses of study and are experienced in supporting pupils with their choices. Pupils’ individual tutors, our Head of Sixth Form, subject teachers and our university admissions team are all on hand to provide advice.

It is not possible to generalise about whether a pupil should study the IB or A levels. However, some general guidelines are set out below.

A levels enable early specialisation which may suit some pupils wishing to apply for university courses in, for example, engineering or medicine (it should be stressed that the IB provides an equally good, although broader, route into these two areas).

Although all major university systems recognise and support both the IB and A levels, those pupils wishing to study in the US will find that the breadth provided by the IB is particularly well suited to the US ‘liberal arts’ approach to university education.

Malvern offers a wide range of subjects for the IB. Most subjects are available at both Higher and Standard Levels, including German A Language and Literature.

Our IB course is recognised by, and appears on the Vector School List, which enables pupils to get full abitur status – even with Maths Standard Level.

The requirements of IB that a pupil must study Mathematics and an additional language other than their mother tongue may put some pupils off, but Spanish is taught in the IB at Malvern assuming no prior knowledge at all (on an ab initio basis).